Forced Minimalism: On safari without any luggage

For the first four days of my safari, I wore the same clothes the entire time. My bag was lost in Dubai airport, no where near Selous Reserve in Tanzania. I learned you don’t need ANY special equipment or camouflage colours to go on a “game drive” (riding in a Land Rover across bumpy terrain). You’re bumbling about in giant roaring truck, a little red t-shirt is not going to scare the animals more than your vehicle already has.

Driving in Selous Reserve, Tanzania. My legs are so jammed in there!

You may read extravagant lists about what to pack and start to pour over safari equipment websites, amazon, and ebay but honestly, having survived 4 days, 3 of which were in “the bush” without anything but the clothes I left London wearing has taught me just how little one requires to have a good time on safari.

I had:

1 pair of work out shorts

1 pair of sweatpants

1 tank top

1 pair hiking boots

1 light jacket

1 sports bra

1 pair of underwear

1 pair of socks

1 sunglasses

I did borrow sunscreen and bug spray. If I could do it again, I’d have packed 2 more tops, 1 more sport bra, and 1 more pair of underwear. The recycled socks didn’t bother me at all.

Now that my luggage and I have been reunited (I had doubts this would ever happen, and mentally prepared myself accordingly), I look upon my hulking suitcase with great distress and some resentment. It’s total overkill. I’m embarrassed to admit I brought hair straighteners. I know. What was I thinking??

I have made myself a promise that in 2018, I will pack notably lighter and continue to strive for a minimalist wardrobe. I have learned:

  1. Wearing the same underwear for 2 days is no big deal. 3 is okay. Socks can last 4 days with no issue in my mind.

2. Makeup in hot climates without AC is a ridiculous idea. I should have gotten my lashes curled, my brows tinted.

3. Packing fresh clothing for every single day is silly. Use the laundry service, the cost benefit of dragging round tons of fresh clothing vs paying a few £££ to the hotel for overpriced washing (or doing it yourself in the hotel sink!) is totally worth it.